This fact demands that future international hotel managers have a broad knowledge about the economy, international society and how the changes that occur in these areas affect this increasingly dynamic and vibrant industry.
The aim of this paper is therefore to introduce our students to the term known as EAGLES (Emerging and Growth-Leading Economies), while highlighting which countries are part of this group and how the growth of these economies is affecting the future of the hotel industry as a whole.
Who are the Eagles?
EAGLES, refers to a number of countries (China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Taiwan) which are estimated to contribute to global economic growth more than the average contribution made by western countries (notably the U.S. and the European Union). Their greatest contribution to the world economy derives from robust domestic demand growth, an outstanding ability to attract foreign direct investment and the growing technological capabilities derived from human capital that is increasingly more educated. Further contributions come from growing businesses that are proving to be competitive and innovative in the global marketplace.
EAGLES and tourism
The international tourism market has traditionally been cornered by the western countries. For example, during the last ten years the four major global destinations were France (average visitors a year above 70 million), Spain (average around 50 million), U.S. (41 million) and Italy (40 million). Western countries have also been the main tourist source of outward countries.
This situation has changed in recent years with the emerging force of the EAGLES countries on the international tourist scene. Thus China is close to becoming the fourth most sought after destination in the world by number of visitors (with a figure close to 40 million tourists), while Russia receives around 20 million and Turkey around 17 million. The change is most noticeable in the source markets. According to a recent study by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), China has become the main market of tourists in the world with Chinese tourists spending $102 billion in 2012 on travel and tourism abroad – more than any other nation in the world.
Looking to the medium term future, it is estimated that EAGLES countries (especially China and Russia) will be the world’s biggest source of tourists abroad (clearly surpassing the West). This situation will also be reflected in the growing importance of these countries as target markets for the west, while bringing into question the long-running hegemony of European and North American destinations.
EAGLES and the future
It seems, therefore, that for the future hotel industry professional, it is very important to become aware of this new situation. It is likely that many of the hotel industry’s future investments will be in these nine countries, where a concentration of four and five star hotels are slated to be built over the next 10 years.
For students from Les Roches Marbella, from my point of view, these countries will offer significant opportunities for professional development. Not in vain, Les Roches Marbella is one of the most prestigious hotel management schools in the world and, as has been evidenced, our students are a priority for HR departments of major global hotel chains.
I was fortunate enough to enjoy a two-year professional experience in Indonesia (as a junior at the Spanish Embassy in Jakarta). The experience of living in a growing country with a society that is open to the world and offers dozens of opportunities each day (both professional and personal) has been the best of my life. So from here I encourage our students to be adventurous by exploring new countries and destinations, to see the world from above, through the eyes of an eagle.